“One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home.”
Acts 16: 14- 15a
Are you familiar with Lydia’s story? She’s not the most well-known name in the Bible, yet Lydia was a tremendous woman of both faith and influence. At a time when career women were rare, Lydia was a respected and successful business woman. She was also the first European believer and host of the first European church. That’s pretty impressive if you ask me.
A transplant to the region for work, Lydia was the equivalent of a manufacture’s rep who specialized in purple fabric. Purple fabric was popular with the elite, the aristocratic class. This meant that Lydia was familiar with high society and was clearly very successful. Paul first met Lydia while she was praying with a group of women. Although not Jewish, Lydia was searching for God.
That’s when Paul began sharing the good news of the Gospel – that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, dying on the cross and rising again in three days. As Lydia listened, God opened up her heart, convicting her of the truth and in that moment, she gave her life to God in faith. But her transformation didn’t end there; her entire household followed her example and became believers, forming the region’s first church in her home.
So what can we learn from Lydia, this successful and influential woman? Lydia leveraged her influence and success for God. She used her gifts and talents for God’s glory, impacting the lives of those around her. So what about you? How do you use your resources and influence? What is your motivation for your work? Ask God to show you how you can leverage your resources and influence for God’s glory – just like Lydia.